Conspiracy Narratives in Roman History by Victoria Emma Pagán

By Victoria Emma Pagán

Conspiracy is a thread that runs during the tapestry of Roman background. From the earliest days of the Republic to the waning of the Empire, conspiracies and intrigues created shadow worlds that undermined the openness of Rome's representational govt. to show those darkish corners and fix a feeling of order and safeguard, Roman historians often wrote approximately recognized conspiracies and approximately how their mystery plots have been detected and the perpetrators punished. those bills reassured readers that the conspiracy used to be an extraordinary exception that may now not occur again--if everybody remained vigilant. during this first book-length therapy of conspiracy in Roman heritage, Victoria Pagan examines the narrative suggestions that 5 sought after historians used to reveal occasions that have been intentionally shrouded in secrecy and silence. She compares how Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus developed their debts of the betrayed Catilinarian, Bacchanalian, and Pisonian conspiracies. Her research unearths how a old account of a mystery occasion relies on the transmittal of delicate info from a personal atmosphere to the general public sphere--and why girls and slaves usually proved to be excellent transmitters of secrets and techniques. Pagan then turns to Josephus's and Appian's bills of the assassinations of Caligula and Julius Caesar to discover how the 2 historians maintained suspense all through their narratives, regardless of readers' past wisdom of the results.

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29 Too much happens before that the historian must go back and explain. In this case, Sallust barely manages to introduce Catiline and already feels the need to give further background information. 1). Although cursory, the retrogression puts the ultimate goal of the narrative, the defeat of Catiline, even further from the reader’s immediate reach. 30 All the material contained in the retrogression/digression is of course integral to Sallust’s conception of the Bellum Catilinae. It conveys information implicitly rather than explicitly and presupposes that the reader needs the information conveyed.

Introduction He goes on to claim that ‘‘the ancient reader . . While certain common features are readily perceived, individual characteristics emerge. I explore the dialectic between the general notion of a ‘‘whore with a heart of gold’’ 65 and the particular woman’s situation in each conspiracy. Some of the women taken up in this study are certainly not whores; others have hearts of lesser metal. 66 Although such critical practice can be condemned as merely making mountains out of molehills, nevertheless our understanding of Roman women stands to gain from attention to the smallest scraps preserved in an already fragmentary record.

81 In direct discourse, the author indicates that a character speaks. In Latin and Greek, postpositive verbs of speaking serve to mark oratio recta (direct discourse), given in an independent clause. In indirect discourse, the character does not speak. Instead, the author reports what the character said. In English, quotation marks are 20 introduction suppressed, and the conjunction that is inserted before the reported speech. Personal and possessive pronouns are shifted from the first or second to the third person.

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